You'd be forgiven for thinking that everyone needs a shared hosting provider but it isn't for everyone! There are pros & cons just like any product, so do your research before you buy!
[Infographic] Comparing Web Hosting Options
Starting out with any new website can be an overwhelming experience, with decisions to be made around every corner. An initial and integral choice will be the kind of hosting you opt for. Best Web Hosting Companies can help you choose a company to provide your hosting. From there, you may be faced with the choice of a server type, which can be confusing to say the least.
We’ve broken it down for you, and compared the features of three main options, so you can make sure you’re getting exactly what you need.
Is Shared Hosting the right choice for me?
A shared server is the most commonly chosen type of hosting platform, and is the right choice if you are looking to launch a personal website, a blog or a small business website. It is simple to set up, the cheapest type of hosting, and there is generally no technical knowledge needed, as the server maintenance will be managed for you throughout. Remember however, you will be sharing your server and its resources with other customers that your hosting provider supports, which include not just bandwidth, but also RAM and CPU.
Without a dedicated IP address, the performance of your website is directly affected by other users, and you have no control whatsoever if there is a problem or the website goes down. Additionally, a shared hosting provider will not let you configure your website outside of its own limited parameters; there is no room for customization.
Bottom Line: Shared Hosting offers less customizability, less security, and less room for growth, but is a cost-effective and efficient way to get up and running. Bluehost, for example, offers users who choose a shared hosting package one free domain, unmetered bandwidth and 50GB in website space.
I need more control over my website, should I choose a Dedicated Server?
If you’re looking for more control and reliability, and can afford to pay a top dollar price ticket, a dedicated server is the elite choice of website hosting. You are actively leasing an entire server for your own website, giving you complete control and the ability to customize every aspect of your hosting experience. Install, edit and run what software you choose, enjoy limitless resources, even reboot the entire server on your own terms, you are free to manage your own website however you please. Hard drive capacity, memory, storage and bandwidth, as well as network access and processing power are all dedicated to a single customer, meaning your website can handle whatever traffic and data you throw in its direction, and is unaffected by the performance or user base of any other.
Security is also a key factor for many when choosing a dedicated server. When using a shared server, it only takes one website on the server to be compromised, to endanger your own. An intelligent hacker could even use his website on the shared server to gain information from yours. Without access to the PHP or Apache configuration, you have no ability to harden the security of the server, leaving you vulnerable to security breaches. A dedicated server removes all of these risks, allowing you the control over your own security, and virtually ensuring that your content and perhaps more vitally-your customer data, is safe.
Bottom Line: Dedicated hosting gives you full control over customizing your server and its security and is the perfect choice for large businesses who can afford a substantial cost for maximum reliability, customization options and security. iPage, for example, gives you independent control, cloud-based flexibility and fully-managed support with all dedicated hosting plans.
Shared Hosting sounds risky for my business, but I can’t afford a Dedicated host - Help!
If you’re worried about taking the leap to a fully dedicated server, a Virtual Private Server may be the right choice for you. Similar to a dedicated hosting provider but on a smaller scale, many medium sized businesses who need the next step up in security and reliability are opting for a VPS. The price ticket falls somewhere in between shared and dedicated, and the customization options usually do too, depending on the company you choose.
Costings are lower because you are still sharing a server with other users, but you will be provided with a guaranteed amount of RAM and CPU allowance, meaning your website is not affected by the performance of others on the server. This makes VPS great for businesses experiencing rapid growth or heavy traffic, or who support complex applications on their site. Lastly, VPS will come with a dedicated IP address for your website, ensuring you maintain a much higher level of security than with shared hosting.
Bottom Line: Offering better performance and security than shared hosting solutions, a VPS is a more basic version of a dedicated server for medium to large sized businesses who want more flexibility from their hosting choice.
Still want more options for your hosting? Read our article on VPS Hosting and see if it’s the right option for your business.